Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hate To Say I Told You So But...

The good news is that those annoying (and un-secure) pre-approval notices are no longing cluttering up your mail box. The bad news is that just as consumers are having trouble with their mortgage payments, as expected, many are defaulting on their credit cards. The average US credit card customer owes over $8,000 on their card for a total of 2 trillion dollars with around 43% of Americans who actually spend more than they earn each year.

And this is the tip of an iceberg. The 800lb gorilla is car loans, many of which were issued under the same lax oversights as the home sub-primes and were packaged & traded as such. Deliquencies on sub-prime auto loans rose to over 4% in September which is further bad news for the manufacturers & dealers as repossed vehicles (more often than not, SUVs & trucks) find their way back into the marketplace further depressing prices.

I believe the forces against the US auto industry to be too strong for the industry to survive. A bailout may do nothing more than waste taxayers' money by only temporarily staving off the ineviatable. Don't think it can't happen here, years of union/management battles, a lacklustre product line and appalling build quality killed off the auto industry in Britain.

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